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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Gardening.

Chop and Drop is a technique where you cut unwanted plants and use the cuttings as a smothering mulch on other unwanted plants - while simultaneously mulching around desired plants.

Usually, 3 square feet of area would be chopped to fully smother-mulch 1 square foot.

Here is one related post on the subject Build abundance with chop and drop

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
  - Chop materials and mulch 50 square feet of desirable plants.
  - Chopped area likely needs to be 150 square feet

To document your completion of the BB, provide the following:
  - Photo of the area prior to mulching
  - Photo after mulching

Clarifications:
  - You may chop material from another area if needed
COMMENTS:
 
master steward
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one possible way to do chop and drop:

 
gardener
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I chopped and dropped 5 areas with fruit trees, 1 paw paw, two cherries, and 2 peaches. There are also some new blackberries planted along the outside edge of the peaches.

Each area is about 4 ft by 4ft. The total area should be about 80 square feet.

I used a scythe, hand sickle, hori hori knife on each one, and a swing blade on the last more overgrown peach tree area. :)
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Tools
Tools
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Paw paw before
Paw paw before
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Paw paw after
Paw paw after
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1st cherry before
1st cherry before
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1st cherry after
1st cherry after
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2nd cherry before
2nd cherry before
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2nd cherry after
2nd cherry after
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1st peach before
1st peach before
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1st peach after
1st peach after
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2nd peach before
2nd peach before
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2nd peach after
2nd peach after
Staff note (paul wheaton) :

I certify that this BB is complete

 
paul wheaton
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Steve, I certified your BB.

And then I updated the wiki page to mention that usually you cut 3 square feet to make a smother-mulch for 1 square foot.  
 
Steve Thorn
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Sounds good, thanks Paul.
 
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Chop and drop weeds on the raised bed areas in my garden. Each row is 55 feet long, about 2 feet wide. I chopped and dropped one and three quarter rows so far. Your call.
20190506_073611.jpg
Starting rows
Starting rows
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Three-quarters row
Three-quarters row
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Whole row
Whole row
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Close-up
Close-up
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete

 
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I recently chopped down a couple of trees (weeds), in an area that I would like to see flourish with other vegetation. I limbed the trees. If I left the limbs there would this count as chop and drop for this particular BB?
 
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Paul talked about that very subject this morning at the PEP1 event.  The impression I got was that the intended method of chop and drop is to use hand tools to collect green materials from an area relatively close to the mulch area and then apply them as needed.  Very thick to smother undesirable plants or thinner as mulch to protect and support soil life.

With that being said, if you have nitrogen fixing trees that you are pollarding or coppicing for chop and drop material, that fits pretty well with this concept.

In the case of a tree "in the wrong place", I'm guessing it would kind of satisfy the spirit of the rule.  Hopefully many more BB applications are made with plant material than with tree removal trimmings.

As long as I'm relaying discussion from this morning, mowing your lawn and using the bagged clippings at mulch doesn't count if it's a gas mower.  Maybe if it's a push reel hand mower.  Maybe?
 
paul wheaton
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I think that "chop and drop" in the broader definition would include doing this with trees.  But in the case of this BB, I am looking for something a bit simpler - generally cutting grasses and using the grasses to smother grasses and mulch desirable plants.   Of course, one might also cut things that are not grasses (knapweed, comfrey, prickly lettuce, snowberry, saskatoon etc.) and trees are also not grasses ...   But I think that withe bigger trees and branches, a brush pile would probably be a better use - and there is a BB for that.

 
Mike Haasl
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I chopped grass from the Fisher Price home septic field and dropped it on a hugel I made today at the 2019 PEP1 event at Wheaton Labs.  The hugel is about 14' long at the base (due to being on a slope) and 7' high and the mulch covered one side and half of each end (well over 50 square feet).  I mulched it thinly (1-2") since I was protecting the soil from rain and not wanting to smother the seeds I just planted.
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Chop location
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Post chopping
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Drop location
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Post dropping (one view)
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Post dropping (second view)
Staff note (Daron Williams) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
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